Engagement in Risk Management Practices in Software Development Projects: Framing Effects

Mosa, Abdelghany Salah Abdelghany
Singh, Harminder
Hassandoust, Farkhondeh
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Doctor of Philosophy
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Auckland University of Technology

Software project failures often result from inadequate management of project risks by IS project managers. Despite the availability of risk management prescriptions, many IS project managers do not follow them due to differences in underlying assumptions regarding risk management. This study, drawing on prospect theory, examines how IS project managers’ framing of projects influences their engagement with risk management. To this end, 26 semi-structured interviews were conducted, and the data was analysed using the template analysis technique. The findings indicate that IS project managers frame projects based on various attributes (e.g., project budget and criticality) that are evaluated using reference points. In addition, IS project managers with positive project framing tend to reduce the intensity of risk management (e.g., funding and documentation), while those with negative framing tend to increase this intensity. This study makes several contributions. First, for behavioural risk management research, it examines the unexplored relationship between IS project managers’ project framing and risk management. Second, it informs IS literature on framing by adopting a subjective framing approach and hypothesising the relationship between attribute framing and reference points. Finally, it contributes to prospect theory by revealing the existence of hybrid framing and viewing framing as a dynamic phenomenon.

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